"Be the Change You Wish to See in the World" -Ghandi
The information on this page is primarily for those who are already serving as volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the Volunteer Opportunties page or click the link below. Below, you will also find a collection of helpful tips, instructions and procedures to make your experience volunteering with Meals on Wheels of Durham safe, productive and rewarding.
- We are still accepting volunteer applications.
- We currently deliver on Mondays. We will transition to daily hot-meal deliveries on Tuesday, September 7.
- Clients will still be contacted multiple times a week via phone for check-ins. We will utilize volunteers to help us call clients,
- If you are interested in helping us make those calls or deliver extra food, please fill out a volunteer application and indicate in the notes section what you are interested in doing, calling, delivering or both and you will receive additional correspondence as we have updates/needs.
Pick Up and Delivery Procedures
On Mondays, meals should be picked up at the Meals on Wheels office between 9 am and 11 am. For hot-meal deliveries Tuesday to Friday, meals should be picked up between 9:30 am and 11 am. Volunteers may work alone or in pairs, depending on individual preference.
- Download the MOW Mobile Meals App on your phone and login to update your deliveries for the day. Volunteer shift details and login information will be emailed to you prior to your volunteer shift.
- While delivering meals, each vehicle should display a "Meals on Wheels Volunteer" sign in the window. If the sign is not in your route folder, please take one from the sign-in table. Volunteer magnets are also availale to display. In addition, volunteers should wear a name tag, one of which is provided in your route folder. If you need another name tag, additional ones are hanging on the wall near the sign-in table.
- Before leaving to deliver your meals, please make sure you have the correct number of meals. This will prevent a return trip to the Meals on Wheels office and subsequent late delivery of meals. Notify staff if you have too many (or not enough) meals for your route.
- Once you reach the destination of your first delivery, mark the delivery as completed on the MOW Mobile Meals App. If a client is not home, indicate that on the app and move on to your next destination.
- Upon completion of your delivery route, make sure to mark your deliveries as completed and sign out of the MOW Mobile Meals App. Return any undelivered meal boxes to the office.
- Client not at home - If a client does not answer the door, please try calling the phone number listed for him/her on the route sheet. Also, please note on the MOW Mobile Meals App if there are special instructions about where to leave the client's meal in case he/she is not at home. If you still can't locate the client or there are no instructions on who to leave the meal with, do not leave the meal. Instead, place a "We Missed You" tag on the door. Immediately notify the Meals on Wheels office if a client does not answer the door. Meals on Wheels staff will follow up on the client's safety and whereabouts. The client's phone number is also listed on the route sheet
- Medical emergencies - If you should ever arrive to find a client in immediate need of medical attention, please call 911! Do not attempt to move the client or perform any medical procedures yourself. Stay with the client until help arrives, then call the Meals on Wheels office to report the incident.
- Contributions - Sometimes clients may wish to make a contribution to the Meals on Wheels program by sending it along with a volunteer. If you receive a contribution from a client, please return it to the office and give it to a member of our staff.
- Volunteer safety - If you encounter an unsafe situation on the route you are delivering, do not deliver the meal. You are to use your discretion and judgment to determine for yourself if you feel unsafe. Please notify the Community Outreach Director and the Director if such a situation occurs.
- Absences - Meals on Wheels realizes that unexpected events may arise which prevent you from delivering a route on your assigned day. If you will not be able to deliver meals on your assigned day please notify the Community Outreach Director as soon as possible.
- If you notice anything unusual on the route or a change in the condition of a client - Please inform the Meals on Wheels office of anything unusual on the route such as incorrect directions or if you have observed a change in the condition of the client. Meals on Wheels always follows up on these reports.
- If you are unsure about how to handle a situation - If at any time during your service with the Meals on Wheels program a situation arises where you are unsure of the appropriate course of action, please call the Meals on Wheels office at 919-667-9424.
Volunteers must be aware of the confidential nature of client information, which must be observed for the protection of the client, the volunteer, and the Meals on Wheels program. Do not reveal clients' names or personal matters to anyone other than Meals on Wheels staff members.
Inclement Weather Procedures
- Meals are not delivered when road conditions make it dangerous for volunteers to drive safely.
- Both clients and volunteers should tune to WRAL by 7:00 am for cancellation notification. Additionally, a closure message will be placed on the Meals on Wheels answering machine.
- If you are uncertain about whether the Meals on Wheels office will be open, please phone the office at 919-667-9424 to confirm cancellation prior to venturing out into unsafe driving conditions.
- Address each client using his/her name.
- Show genuine interest in each client, and be a good listener.
- Speak clearly and audibly, as many clients are hard of hearing.
- Be optimistic and confident.
- Do not direct the conversation towards a client's illness or disability.
- Do not give your home telephone number to clients, and refrain from using your own money to meet a client's needs.